Aurora Echo’s pasta business keeps leavening — so much that it needed a new home.
After less than a year of activity, Wildly Beloved Foods is far from being strained. Today, the business sells pasta online, at farmers markets and through retailers in Western Washington, California and Oregon, and will produce fresh pasta for a food truck business in Vancouver, Washington.
As the business grew, Echo realized she was outgrowing the Whidbey Island Fairgrounds’ kitchen due to its limited space and lack of heating and insulation. On a typical day, she said, she produces 100 to 150 pounds of pasta.
“It was a very difficult place to start a business, especially with pasta because pasta is sensitive to temperature,” she said. “Pasta wants to be made and dried in like a warm Tuscan breeze.”
But Echo told herself that if she could start a business there, she could do anything — and finally, on Oct. 22, she opened her store at 6348 Frost Avenue in Clinton.
That day, Echo and her team welcomed over 100 people to her store’s soft opening celebration, which she described as “wildly beloved and wildly successful.” Visitors were taken on a tour of the business while she made pasta from scratch, walking past pasta machines, tools, mugs and bowls made by local artists and, of course, a wide variety of pastas displayed in home-compostable bags and containers or drying in food dehydrators.
At Wildly Beloved, the pasta is dried without heat on stainless steel trays on commercial food dehydrators from 10 to 16 hours, while commercial pasta is dried with high heat — which increases cooking time.
Everything is made with flour imported from Italy — pasta’s holy motherland — and organic ingredients. Echo recently obtained an organic certification from the Washington State Department of Agriculture, which she is very proud of. Eating organic, she explained, means the consumer is not putting chemicals into their system while also supporting regenerative agriculture.
Plus, it tastes better.
“I would say to people that they would know where their food is coming from by eating my pasta,” she said.
Starting in November, Echo and Renee Blair — a private chef who runs the blog “Nourish the Roots” — will teach pasta workshops twice per week to small groups of people. Students can learn skills like how to make fresh vegan pasta, egg pastas, or how to use cavatelli boards to roll the pasta into the cavatello’s iconic shape. The business is also throwing a grand opening event on Saturday, Nov. 11, with pasta tasting and live music performed by the band “Those Guys.”
Wildly Beloved Foods is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays through Sundays. To learn more, visit wildlybelovedfoods.com.
Note: a previous version of this story inaccurately reported Wildly Beloved Foods would sell pasta through a food truck in Vancouver, Canada. It is actually Vancouver, Washington. We regret the error.